How to Wash Cloth Diapers (Step by Step Guide)

February 18, 2022

washing cloth diapers: how to save money

Washing cloth diapers may seem like a downside of using cloth diapers instead of the regular disposable diapers but that’s simply not the case and it shouldn’t stop you from using cloth diapers.

Opting for cloth diapers over disposable ones offers a lot of benefits, the main one being that you save a ton of money!

When you welcome your first newborn into your family you’ll soon discover what of a poop machine babies are; you’ll go through hundreds of diapers every year so buying cloth diapers will enable you to wash them and reuse them multiple times effectively cutting down on the cost of constantly buying new ones.

On top of that cloth diapers don’t feature any chemicals, they are 100% safe and hypoallergenic, they don’t cause any rashes and babies prefer their softer feel.

But what about washing them? It it easy? How can you wash a cloth diaper and how many times can you do it before you have to throw them away? Read on to find out everything about how to wash your cloth diapers.

How to wash cloth diapers: a step by step guide for new parents

There are quite a few methods that parents have developed in order to wash cloth diapers and keep them clean but here we’re going to walk you through the easiest and most effective way to wash your cloth diapers.

  1. Remove poop from diaper
  2. Toss in a dry basket
  3. Run a cold cycle
  4. Run a warm cycle
  5. Dry the cloth diapers

1) Remove the poop from the diaper

This may sound a bit yucky at first but fear not, part of having a baby is having to deal with the poop!

What you’ll find out is that as long as the baby is breastfeeding the poop will be softer, almost liquid, and it will be water-soluble so all you have to do to chuck the diaper in the hamper basket, pail, or bag you’re using for the dirty diapers.

If the baby has moved on to solid foods, the poop will also be more solid. In this case, just dump the contents of the diaper in the toiler and then throw the diaper in the pail.

2) Toss in a dry pail

After you get rid of the poop, make sure to throw the soiled cloth diaper in a dry pail, basket, or bag. Obviously, you don’t want to let too many diapers pile up so make sure to wash them every day or at least every other day in batches of 10 – 18 depending on your washing machine capacity.

3) Run a cold wash cycle

It’s advised to first run a cold wash cycle so that they can loosen up and you’ll get rid of any remaining gunk and bits of poop. You don’t have to run a full cycle, especially if you’re not overloading the washing machine.

4) Run a warm wash cycle

After the cold wash cycle has finished have it’s time for the proper wash. Opt for warm or hot and if your washing machine offers the option, select an extra rinse.

5) Dry the cloth diapers

Now that the washing is done, all you have to do is to dry the diapers. If you can hang them outside (during the warmer months) that’s always preferable, otherwise, throw them in the dryer and let it do its magic.

But first, make sure to check the instructions on the label of the cloth diaper. Different manufacturers and different fabrics require different settings. Some need to go into the low or medium setting whereas others can withstand a hard drying cycle.

Washing cloth diapers: tips and tricks

Here’s a few useful tricks and tips when washing your cloth diapers to make your life easier.

  1. If you have to deal with soiled diapers that you can’t get the poop off easily, then a diaper sprayer might be the best solution. Keep reading to find out the best diaper sprayers on the market currently.
  2. Do not use bleach. We know it may seem beneficial to use bleach but it will shorten the life of the cloth diapers
  3. Do not use any fabric softeners. Fabric softeners create an invisible film on top of the fibers that reduce the diaper’s absorbency and effectiveness.
  4. In general, avoid drying them in the highest setting, they will become rougher over time.
  5. Ideally, you want to hang them and let them dry naturally overnight when possible.
  6. Use some lemon juice to whiten them if they have started to turn yellow.
  7. Add some baking soda to your hamper basket before washing the diapers. The baking soda neutralizes the bad odors, removes the acid, and helps protect the fabric while the diaper stays soft.

Best diaper sprayers in 2020

A diaper sprayer is the best option if you want to quickly and hassle-free get rid of stubborn poop from soiled diapers.

1) Purrfectzone Bidet Diaper Sprayer

This is a great diaper sprayer and it’s very easy to install. It takes less than 10 minutes for a one-time installation and then you won’t believe how you could ever live without it.

The water pressure can be adjusted easily by pressing down on the lever gradually. Press down more and the pressure increases.

At the highest setting, the pressure is enough to get rid even of the most stubborn stains and gunk.

2) Handheld Bidet Toilet Sprayer

Another excellent option, this portable diaper sprayer is made from high quality 304 stainless steel and lead-free brass for increased durability and resistance to oxidation and corrosion.

The set comes with everything you need to install the diaper sprayer in under 10 minutes. You don’t need to hire a professional as the installation is very easy and all the instructions are included in the package.

You can use it for anything you want, washing clothes, filling aquariums, backets, or just cleaning around the bathroom.

3) JP’s Handheld Bidet Sprayer

Last but not least this stainless tell portable bidet and diaper sprayer will make your life easier when it comes to washing cloth diapers.

But you can use it for any and every type of clothing you have and can also function as a bidet washers for our bathroom. Installation is simple and quick and you can have it up and running in under 10 minutes as well.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.
Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra has over 13 years of experience as a child psychologist, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has a Bachelor's in child psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then she did her master's in Psychology in Education (focused on Children & Families) at Columbia University, NY. She has been writing for health and child-related publications for over 5 years now.

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